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Senate Proceeding on May 25th, 2010 :: 0:16:30 to 0:29:25
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Patrick Leahy

0:16:12 to 0:16:33( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i would make such a the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i support congressional action to move past the policies that discriminate against men and women serving and wanting to serve in our nation's military on the basis of sexual orientation. i commend admiral mullen, the

Patrick Leahy

0:16:30 to 0:29:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy

0:16:34 to 0:16:54( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: chairman of the joint chief of staffs; defense secretary gates and the president for their leadership on this important issue. america is defended by the finest military in the world. i know the pride that my wife and i felt when our youngest son, mark, whose birthday is

Patrick Leahy

0:16:55 to 0:17:16( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: today, joined the u.s. marine corps out of high school. i feel that there should be be no place in america, including in our military, for discrimination. while the country and congress work to move forward, some still labor to hold us back. how ironic that the policy of

Patrick Leahy

0:17:17 to 0:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: nondiscrimination elena kagan sought to encourage while serving as the dean of harvard law school is poised to become the law of the land, while those who oppose her nomination continue to distort her lawful actions to ensure that the schools follow nondiscriminatory policy.

Patrick Leahy

0:17:39 to 0:17:59( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i support the don't ask, don't tell policy. i hope all senators will. mr. president, on a further matter, two weeks ago president obama nominated elena kagan to succeed justice john paul stevens as associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. much has been written and said about this nomination during the

Patrick Leahy

0:18:00 to 0:18:20( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: last two weeks. actually there's been far too much talk about the process and too much partisanship surrounding this important matter. let qualifications of this extraordinary nominee, remembering that a supreme court justice is there not to serve a

Patrick Leahy

0:18:21 to 0:18:41( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: republican or a democratic administration, but all 300 million americans. when the president announced his choice back on may 10, he talked about solicitor general kagan's legal mind, her intellect, her record of achievement, her temperament, her fair-mindedness. no one can question the intelligence or achievements of

Patrick Leahy

0:18:42 to 0:19:02( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: this woman. she's at the top of the legal profession. she's no stranger to breaking the glass ceiling. she was the first woman to be the dean of the prestigious harvard law school. she clerked for two leading judicial figures: judge abner mikva on the court o appeals

Patrick Leahy

0:19:03 to 0:19:24( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: for the district of columbia circuit and then on the supreme court for one of the most extraordinary lawyers and judges in american history: justice thurgood march -l shall. as an advocate, thurgood marshall helped change america for the better by bringing cases that challenged racial discrimination. he won anxtraordinary 29 of

Patrick Leahy

0:19:25 to 0:19:45( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the 32 cases he argued before the court. one of the most outstanding records of advocacy before the court, including the landmark case of brown vs. board of education, which helped bring an end to racial segregation and education in america.

Patrick Leahy

0:19:46 to 0:20:06( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: a blot on our country that was finally removed by that case. and despite his obvious legal qualifications, when thurgood marshall was nominated to the second circuit court of appeals by president kennedy in 1961, his nomination was stalled by opponents in the senate before

Patrick Leahy

0:20:07 to 0:20:28( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: he was eventually confirmed by a bipartisan vote of 54-16. now, 40 years later, it's elena kagan who is serving as the solicitor general of the united states, the first woman in america's history to serve as solicitor general.

Patrick Leahy

0:20:29 to 0:20:49( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i've long urged presidents in both political parties to look outside what i've ckedhe judicial -- what i've called the judicial monastery. when confirmed, elena kagan will be the only member of the supreme court who did not serve as a federal appeals court judge.

Patrick Leahy

0:20:50 to 0:21:11( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and when the president introduced elena kagan to the country, i was interested to hear him talk about learning from justice marshal that behind laws there are stories, stories of people lives shaped by the law, stories of people's lives that might be changed by the law enforcement the president said her understanding of law is not

Patrick Leahy

0:21:12 to 0:21:32( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: merely intellectual or ideological, but how it affects the lives of people. we heard solicitor general kagan talk about the importance of upholding the rule of lawmakers enabling all americans to get a fair hearing. she has broken this glass ceiling wheshe was appointed as the first woman to serve as

Patrick Leahy

0:21:33 to 0:21:54( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: solicitor general, as she did when she was -- became the first woman to serve as dean of the harvard law school. and there are historic accomplishments. in fact, as dean, elena kagan woed well with all ideological components at harvard. she took action to bring more

Patrick Leahy

0:21:55 to 0:22:16( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: conservative viewpoints at the institution. she encouraged civil discourse. those are skills that will be useful in a sharply divided supreme court. having counseled the president, looking outside the judicial monastery -- i've made that recommendation to every president since i've been here,

Patrick Leahy

0:22:17 to 0:22:37( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: beginning with president ford -- the one president who actually did that. i was struck that the first wave of attacks by senate republicans to this nomination was that she lacked judicial experience, including by some who would praise president bush's

Patrick Leahy

0:22:38 to 0:22:58( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: nomination of harriet miers, praising her as someone who had not served as a judge, calling her a wonderful choice who would fill very important gaps in the supreme court. of course now that a democratic president is nominating, they reversed themselves. and what was a great idea with a republican president is not a terrible idea with a democratic

Patrick Leahy

0:22:59 to 0:23:19( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: president, and they say the lack of judicial experience is a matter it's troubling. it's a matter that warrants great scrutiny. i think it was ralph waldo emerson who once said that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. they are not suffering hobgoblins, but i would say the

Patrick Leahy

0:23:20 to 0:23:40( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: republicans should not apply a double standard to the nomination of this qualified woman. this criticism of her is somehow unqualified, because she lacks judicial experience. it is also ignorant of our history and our constitutional government. it's very recently that the path

Patrick Leahy

0:23:41 to 0:24:01( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: to the supreme court became so narrow. indeed, nearly half of our supreme court justices were nominated to the court from a position other than a judgeship. let me just mention a few of the distinguished justices without

Patrick Leahy

0:24:02 to 0:24:23( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: prior judicial experience: chief justice john marshall, justice louis brandeis, justice frankfurter, justice byron white, justice robert jackson and justice william rehnquist. of course, senate republicans did not voice any such concern before the american people elected president obama.

Patrick Leahy

0:24:24 to 0:24:46( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: they ctainly had no such concern when president bush was making those nominations. nor did senate republicans express any concern when president bush made other nominations to the federal courts from his close advisors and his team.

Patrick Leahy

0:24:47 to 0:25:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: now, unlike these republican critics, i've always championed judicial independence. i think it's important that judicial nominees understand judges, they are not members of an administration but they're judicial officers. they shod not be political partisans, but judges uphold the constitution and the rule of law

Patrick Leahy

0:25:08 to 0:25:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: for all americans. now, i welcome questions to the solicitor general about judicial independence, but let's be fair. let's listen to her answers. let's set this overheated rhetoric aside. let's be fair to solicitor general kagan, fair to her distinguished record.

Patrick Leahy

0:25:30 to 0:25:51( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: there's no basis to question her integrity, no reason to presume she will not and before someone questions the independence of this nominee, sherbd have a basis -- they should have a basis. i know of none. no one should presume that this intelligent woman who has

Patrick Leahy

0:25:52 to 0:26:12( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: excelled during every part of her varied and distinguished career lacks independence. i know of no basis for such contention, and i look forward to the beginning of the judiciary committee. if we're going to talk about

Patrick Leahy

0:26:13 to 0:26:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: inconsistencies, i was amazed flabbergasted t hear concerns about the nomination. i tried to set the same schedule as that for justice roberts during the bush administration and justice sotomayor during the obama administration.

Patrick Leahy

0:26:35 to 0:26:56( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: but i have to admit i didn't hit it exactly. we're taking a day longer for elena kagan than for john roberts or sonia sphoeur. to do it -- or sonia sotomayor. to

Patrick Leahy

0:26:57 to 0:27:19( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: have to start it on sunday, and i didn't think it was fair. we're starting on monday. when a republican president nominated a man to the supreme court, the schedule was fine. when a democratic president nominated women to the supreme

Patrick Leahy

0:27:20 to 0:27:43( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: court with exactly the same schedule, suddenly it's not a fair schedule. well, maybe i'm old-fashioned, maybe i'm influenced by my wife, my daughter, my three granddaughters. but i think the rules ought to be the same for men and for women. and so that's why her schedule

Patrick Leahy

0:27:44 to 0:28:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: is the same, save that pefbgy sunday, which -- pesky sunday, which means it will take a day longer than john roberts. but we got as close as we could. and let's stop the crocodile tears on the other side about the schedule. they didn't complain when it was a republican man being nominated with that schedule.

Patrick Leahy

0:28:05 to 0:28:26( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: don't complain when a democratic president nominates a woman and it's the same schedule. so i look forward to these hearings. that's what solicitor general kagan will finally be given the opportunity to answer questions. the american people and

Patrick Leahy

0:28:27 to 0:28:49( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: open-minded senators will find confidence in her legal abilities. i ask my full statement be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and i will consent that a statement of mine

Patrick Leahy

0:28:50 to 0:29:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: on the amendment be mate part-d of the record -- be made part of the record, and i will speak on later because i have already taken part of the time of the distinguished senator from hawaii. and again, i appreciate his never-ending courtesy to a more juni thank you. the presiding officer: without

Patrick Leahy

0:29:22 to 0:29:27( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: objection. the sessions amendment is the pending question.

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